Winter makes for longer nights and shorter days. It also boasts the year's greatest lunar displays – but there's more to this fact than an increase in daily hours of darkness.

In the latest installation of Minute Physics, Henry Reich explains why the arc of a full moon in winter is like that of the Sun in summer, and vice versa: it all has to do with the tilt of Earth's plane of rotation relative to its axis, and the position of the moon throughout its more-or-less monthly orbit of our planet.


The moon's prolonged arc through the wintery night sky is a less-commonly recognized feature of the lunar cycle. It's an intuitive one, if you stop and think about it, but Reich's explanation is still one of the clearest I've heard. Good stuff.

[Via Minute Physics]


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